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Jala Neti, the nasal douche

The ancient technique of Jala Neti (Saline Nasal Irrigation) is a very powerful and easy to master cleansing technique in which warm salty water is used. It is one of the six classical cleansing practices known as kriyas mentioned in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the Gheranda Samhita. According to these classical texts, Neti "Cleanses the skull, induces clairvoyance and removes diseases that are above the shoulders". Other benefits are:

Increases olfactory sensitivity.

Can help improve upper respiratory tract ailments.

Improves the flow of the nasal passage and mucous membrane.

It is also believed to improve eysight as it stimulates the tear ducts.

Further benefits are clearing the nasal passages from city pollution and air borne particles.

Last but not least it is believed to harmonize the two nadis (subtle hot and cold currents in the body) Ida and Pingala. The balancing of these two currents brings about great health benefits. The technique is quite simple and requires the use of a funny looking ceramic plastic or metal pots with a narrow spout.

The pot is first filled with luke warm salty water using preferably purified water and natural sea salt. The ratio of salt to water is about one to two teaspoons of salt per litre. Make sure the salt is well dissolved into the water. The neti pot itself only holds the equivalent of one cup of water. "Once your Neti pot is filled with water at the right temperature and degree of salinity, bend forward and then tilt the head to one side. Relax, breathe through the mouth and pour gently the salted water through the upper nostril. The water will flow around the septum and out through the other nostril. Do not inhale as you are pouring the water through the nose. Pour half the water through one nostril, then blow your nose vigorously before tilting the head the other way and repeating the operation for the other nostril. It is important to thoroughly dry the nasal passages with a few rounds of Kapalabati (rapid breathing with forced abdominal exhalation)". Excerpt:yogaholidays.net/magazine/jalaneti.htm

A cautionary note: It is vital that only the purest reverse osmosis or distilled water is used and boiled before use. Also keep the neti pot very clean. The reason for this is that there are brain eating microbes that can enter the brain through the mucous membrane. Although very rare two deaths in New Orleans have been attributed to the use of neti pots using tap water.